“I wish I had a couple more meetings this week.”
Said no one ever.
Our time is valuable and when we spend our time in meetings, we want them to be efficient, effective, and purposeful. We want to know that the discussion and decisions are carried through such that our time wasn’t wasted. And those are really reasonable demands.
So when you are the meeting planner, how do you make sure to meet these demands for your participants? We have some simple, yet powerful suggestions.
- Avoid meetings at all costs. Yes, you read that right. Remember, time is valuable and you don’t want to waste yours or anyone else’s. Make sure the meeting is necessary before you schedule it.
- Only invite who needs to be there. Extra people means potential distraction and, back to number one, unnecessary people spending their time in a meeting is a waste.
- Determine and communicate a clear objective and agenda. Know what you’re doing and why. If it’s difficult for you to come up with an objective and agenda, see #1. Once you have one, make sure it’s communicated ahead of time so that people come prepared.
- Follow up. Document decisions and action items. Have a plan in place for making sure they get done. Assign deadlines or checkpoints. An action item without a plan for follow-up is just words hanging in the air.
These guidelines may seem obvious, but they are all too often not followed. We schedule meetings just to do it or continue recurring meetings without considering whether they’re needed. We invite too many people for fear of leaving someone out. We don’t take the time to communicate an objective. We drop the ball on a clear follow-up plan.
A great way to stay on track is to use a tool to help organize your meetings and minutes. The Community Cloud has a management tool to help schedule meetings, publish agendas, record minutes and action items. You can also search through all actions and minutes across all meetings when you need to find something. The module is integrated with our member management functionality so you can easily invite who is needed and keep them in the loop on the meeting outcomes.
You can try it for free today. We invite you to visit our website to read more about Community Cloud and start down the road to better meetings and better member engagement.